recipe

I am not a protein shake person so I have been struggling a little with the shake days on the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet.

I do make a lot of smoothies for my kids so I just modified that recipe a little for a fruit smoothie, which is quite tasty.  I also supplement dinner and one snack with real food carefully calculated to ensure I am staying within my calories and ratios.

This morning I was feeling I might need to try something a little different.  When I started this I bought one vanilla and one chocolate protein powder.  My chocolate hasn’t been getting much use really as I couldn’t figure out what to put with it.  I am not a huge fan of chocolate peanut butter flavored things so the protein/fat smoothies are my big challenge and I also don’t really like chocolate and fruit together so you can see my dillema here.

Side Note: I use and recommend Jay Robb Whey Protein.  It tastes great and meets all the recommended quality and nutritional recommendations — high quality ingredients and sweetened with stevia.

I threw some things together this morning and it turned out pretty good, so I thought I would share my couple of shake recipes with you.

How Much of Each Ingredient?

Each one of us will have specific quantity requirements to meet our calories and macro-nutrient ratios.  For this reason I have left the amount off of anything that would add to the caloric total or affect the ratios.

There is a whole section of the diet manual dedicated to calculating your needs.  This is a very important part of the program so don’t skip over this part.

Morning Wake Up Call

Chocolate protein powder
Non-Fat Milk
Banana
1 t. instant coffee
1 t. unsweetened baking cocoa

Mix it all together in a blender. May need a little more time in the blender than other shakes to fully dissolve and incorporate the instant coffee granules.

Basic Fruit Smoothie

Vanilla protein powder
Orange Juice
Banana
Fresh or Frozen Berries (whatever you have works great – I love the frozen mixed berries)

Blend and enjoy!

Side Note: If you like your smoothies colder or thicker, add a couple of ice cubes after you have blended the ingredients together and then spin it again until all the ice is crushed up.

Bonus Tip: One thing I have noticed about protein powder is if you let it sit for a minute or so after blending but before you drink it, it tastes better and has a better consistency. This gives it time to fully dissolve. What I do is blend it up and then let it sit for a minute or two and then give it another little spin before I pour it into a glass. Way Better!

Learn More about the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet

I have really been enjoying  my new world of salads.  Although most of the time I stick to the basics, I have found some really great more creative offerings as well.  Nothing boring about this little number.

This salad would be perfect for apple season with fresh organic apples and fresh pressed cider from the farmers market.  But, if you can’t get it in season, I have found some really good organic unfiltered apple cider available at my grocery store.

I have written this recipe as a single serving because that is how I usually make it for myself for lunch, but you could easily double this for two or even make it big for a dinner party.

Shrimp and Spinach Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

1 serving

Cider Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 slice center cut nitrate free bacon
  • 1 sliver of organic butter
  • 1 small chopped shallot (about 2 T)
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 turn of fresh ground pepper

Combine cider and sugar in a small pot over med-high heat and boil until reduced by more than half. While you are doing that cook the piece of bacon in a small skillet until desired doneness. Remove and place on a piece of paper towel to drain off any excess fat. Use that same paper towel to wipe out the skillet. Don’t remove all the grease, you want a bit for flavor, but you don’t want to cook in it. Cut the bacon into small pieces and set aside.

Add butter to skillet at melt over medium heat. Add shallot to pan and saute until beginning to caramelize and brown up. Stir in cider mixture, vinegar, salt and pepper. Poor into the saucepan you used for the cider mixture and hold over very low heat while you finish the salad.

If the dressing seems to be getting too reduced, remove from heat and then heat up quickly before topping salad.

Salad

  • 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • thinly sliced red onion (generous amount within your tastes)

assemble on a dinner plate and set aside.

Shrimp

  • 5 large shrimp, thawed, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 t curry powder
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t olive oil

Mix together curry, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Heat oil in the same small skillet you used for the dressing. Dip each shrimp into the spice mixture before adding to pan. Sprinkle any left over spice mixture over shrimp in the pan. Cook until pink and opaque, but not overdone.

Add hot shrimp, bacon and dressing to salad and serve immediately.

NOTE: Add a handful of raw nuts or seeds and a tablespoon of ground flax to make this more Gabriel Method friendly

I think I mentioned in my I love Salad post that my husband and I have been really enjoying what we call the “Big Salad”.  We have this for dinner once a week now and giggle about past Seinfeld episodes (did you catch the reference?).

I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days.  This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.

Big Salad

2 servings

Marinade Chicken

  • 1 boneless skinless free range chicken breast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • couple good grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced

Put this all in a Ziploc bag with one chicken breast and let marinate for a couple of hours.  At least one I would say but you could probably leave it for as long as 24.

Croutons

  • One slice sprouted wheat bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • one or two grind of fresh black pepper

put all ingredients in a medium skillet and toss with your hands to coat the bread well with the oil and spices.  Cook over medium until desired brownness and then turn on low (as low as you can go) while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Stir occasionally.

Leaving them on low will allow them to crisp up a little and keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the salad.  They are better if you put them on top warm.  If they start to get too done, then turn them off and then give them a quick sizzle on medium high right before you eat to get them warmed up.

Cooking the Chicken

I like the chicken cooked on the BBQ myself.  This way it has that touch of smoky charcoal flavor that compliments the rest of this meal so well, but you could also use a grill pan, broil it or even cut it up and saute it if you are in a big hurry.

You will want the chicken to be done about 5 minutes before you are ready to eat so that it can rest for a few minutes, but still be warm when you put it on the salad.

We cook it on the BBQ and it takes about 20 minutes.  You will need to figure this out for yourself based on your chosen cooking style.

Assembling the Salad

These are just the veggies that I like and choose to use, but you could use anything you like and try to use what is in season right now for fresher, healthier vegetables.

  • 4 handfuls of organic salad green mix – I have the guy at the farmers market mix half baby lettuce and half spicy mix.  Yum!
  • 2 carrots (or one if it is large – the ones I get at the farmers market are about 4 inches long, so I use 2), diced small
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (use whatever kind of tomatoes you like or are fresh and cut them to bit size)
  • raw sunflower seeds, raw pepitas, raw almonds (or whatever seed/nut combo you like) – about 2 T total per plate.
  • 2 T freshly ground flax seed
  • Your favorite dressing

Split the above ingredients between two plates and top with half the croutons and half the chicken.  Dress and enjoy.

Having a large and healthy breakfast is a challenging  undertaking, especially if you want to be quick and not eat the same thing every day.  I have come up with several ideas, one of which is this french toast recipe.  It only takes a couple of minutes to make and provides all The Gabriel Method requirements – Protein, omega3 and live food.

Sprouted bread makes really tasty french toast.  Very satisfying and you can’t tell the whey powder is there at all. Yea!

French Toast

1 serving

1 slice of sprouted bread
1 omega egg
2 T organic milk
1 T ground flax seed
1/2 scoop unflavored whey powder
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 t organic butter

Wisk the egg, milk, flax, whey and nutmeg together until there are no lumps or bumps.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over just more than medium heat.

Dip the bread into the egg mixture, flipping and allowing it to soak up as much of the egg mixture as possible.

Place the bread into the pan and pour any remaining egg mixture on top, trying to keep side spillage to a minimum.

When nice and brown on one side flip and brown on the other side.  Then turn down the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the center is semi-firm to the touch.  

Place on a plate and top with a large pile of berries or another favorite fruit.  Drizzle a little pure maple syrup over the top and enjoy.

Buy The Gabriel Method book now!

I have been exploring new foods and ways of eating as part of The Gabriel Method.

This salad has become my favorite lunch.  It is hearty and filling, dare I say comforting, and chock full of nutrition.  It is also highly customizable.  Get creative.

When using the Gabriel Method, we ask three questions before preparing a meal.

  1. Where is the assimilable protein?
  2. Where is the Omega 3?
  3. Where is the live food?

The protein in this meal comes from the chicken (make sure to use free range or the chicken doesn’t really count) and also from the raw nuts/seeds (they must be raw – roasted doesn’t count).

The Omega 3 is found in the ground flax seed (grind it fresh for maximum potency) as well as the sprouted bread croutons. The sprouted bread I use is loaded with seeds and flax. Not all of these breads are high in omega 3. Make sure to check your particular brand and style.

For live food, I use organic dark greens for this salad as well as other organic veggies. I also keep a live basil plant (available at the grocery store in the produce department) in my kitchen window. This is a great way to add vitality to your meal.

Keeping an herb garden is a great way to increase vitality in your food, save money and add a punch of flavor to your food. Healthy, fun and budget friendly. What beats that?

Wilted Salad

2 cups dark organic greens
2 T fresh basil
5 medium mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1 T flax seed, freshly ground
3 oz free range chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
2 t olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 t dried oregano
pinch red chili flakes
1 T raw sunflower seeds
1 T raw sliced almonds
1 slice sprouted grain bread, toasted and cut into bite size pieces and cooled
Your favorite Vinaigrette salad dressing, I use Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic and Parmesan.
salt and pepper

Pile the greens on a plate. Top with toasted bread pieces, basil and ground flax. Set aside.

Heat 1 t oil in a medium frying pan over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and a pinch of dried oregano and saute until browned, but not completely cooked through.  Remove and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent and starting to soften.  Add mushrooms and saute until cooked through and nicely browned. Onions should be caramelized at this point and garlic will be brown and soft.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano and red chili flakes.

Add the carrots and chicken back to pan until chicken is cooked through, a couple of minutes.

Dump all that on top of the pile of greens. Top with seeds, nuts and salad dressing.

Toss and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Buy the book now!

Jon Gabriel used to weigh over 400 lbs and he spent years of his life dieting and regaining the weight, spending thousands with Dr. Atkins and continually forcing himself to lose weight only to gain it back and even more.  He took it on as his mission to figure out why his body wanted to be fat.

He attended Wharton school of Business, studying biochemistry while he was there.  He also studied at the VA hospital in Philadelphia.  He has researched and read hundreds of research reports, learning everything he could about biochemistry, neurobiology, psychology, nutrition, and much more.  He also studies meditation, neuro and psycho linguistics, field of consciousness research and even quantum physics.  Even more importantly he started studying  his own body.

What he found is quite remarkable and his own weight loss is just one example of it working.  He lost over 200 lbs in 2 1/2 years.

I am not usually one to write about something personally unproven, especially when it comes to diet and health, but I really want to document this process so I don’t forget everything I’m learning.

I am feeling really great and enjoying the new foods that I am trying.  I am generally in a better mood and sleeping really well.  This after only a week with just the smallest of diet changes.

This is a really new program so there isn’t a lot of information about it our there.  I am very curious about the process and the outcomes and hope that sharing my experiences will be helpful to others exploring this approach.

It also includes incorporating a lot of new foods that I was generally unfamiliar with, so creating and sharing recipes will be fun.


How I Found The Gabriel Method

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:45 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I have tried all the regular tricks (a.k. fad diets and cleanses) in my bag as well as three months of simply reducing and logging my calories and increasing my exercise level significantly. With all that I have still not lost one pound since the initial weight came off after Ian was born almost two years ago. I haven’t gained weight either, it just won’t budge. Every time I get on the scale, it is just the same thing over and over again.

Something is keeping my body just where it is no matter what I do, so I started doing some research on other ways of looking at the diet and weight loss issue.

I believe that when ideas or topics present themselves to you, especially from a couple of different directions, it means that I need to explore that topic more.

Acai Berry Supplements

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

I have been taking an Acai supplement for about 6 months now and I will tout its benefits all over town, but let’s get one thing perfectly clear…

This is not a diet drug. If you believe that crap about losing 40 pounds by just taking a pill then you are an idiot, just like I was.

So, Why is Acai so great?

The Gabriel Method – After Week 1

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

After just more than one week on the month one plan plus adding the recommended foods where appropriate, I am already seeing my cravings change. Less Diet Coke, more water and the other day we took the kids to ice cream in the afternoon and I didn’t even feel like having something sweet. I more wanted some cheese and bread, maybe some olives. Now, I did have the ice cream and it’s not like cheese and bread is so great for you, but that change in craving is a big one for me. I have always wanted something sweet.

Now, a few days later, I don’t really want to eat the breads at all. Last night we had garlic shrimp and pasta and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat the very small amount of pasta I put on my plate and today I took the kids to lunch and nothing really sounded good and I ended up tearing most of the bread off my meal and eating out just the center.

The Gabriel Method – Some Basic Nutrition

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 5 comments. Top.

One of the first things The Gabriel Method encourages is eating a large breakfast to get your day going. Like all other meals using this approach, breakfast should include a good source of protein, omega 3 and live foods. You should also take a digestive enzyme capsule before eating to help with digestion.

So, let’s break these down a little.

Wilted Salad – Gabriel Method Recipe

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

I have been exploring new foods and ways of eating as part of the Gabriel Method.

This salad has become my favorite lunch. It is hearty and filling, dare I say comforting, and chock full of nutrition.

Gabriel Method – After Week 2

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:44 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I really really want to weigh myself. I can’t help it, the scale just calls to me. I have put it away, but just because it is put away doesn’t mean I can’t go and dig it out. It is only the thought that I may get on the scale and that same number will still be there that is keeping me from it.

Poached Eggs on Toast – Gabriel Method Breakfast

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:43 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

When I was little my mom used to make me poached eggs when I had an upset stomach. It has become of form of comfort food for me.

The problem is that poaching eggs in water is messy and kinda smelly and a good portion of the egg white is lost to the spinning web of egg white strings (yuck). Yet, poached eggs are still my favorite way to eat eggs and when I started The Gabriel Method and knew I was going to need to eat more eggs, making poached eggs easy was a must.

The Gabriel Method – End of Month 1

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:43 GMT. 6 comments. Top.

Let’s get real here. I feel weak. I doubt my ability to do this and I am self sabotaging like you would not believe. Yet one more thing that terrifies me. I am so tired of being afraid. I don’t even know what I am so damn scared of. I just walk around wallowing in my own fear.

Gabriel Method Forum

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:21 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

So after that particularly negative and self loathing post about my progress, I went looking for a support forum.

A New Day

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:21 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

It’s a funny thing about fear. Sometimes when you say it out loud and face it directly it recedes and sometimes even dissapears all together.

I would like to thank everyone for the unexpected and very much appreciated outpouring of support. Your words of encouragement made a really bad day a whole lot better and gave me the confidence to push past it. Thank-you.

I wish I could say my fear is gone forever, but alas that simply isn’t how it is in this case. But, by owning my weaknesses I have come to understand them a little better and can now move forward with my eyes open.

The Gabriel Method – Week 6

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 5 comments. Top.

After over a week of rededicating myself to The Gabriel Method, I am feeling better and better about it.

Dealing With Emotional Weight Issues

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

After the events of the past week I have come to determine that my frustration over my lack of measurable progress (a.k.a. weight loss) really comes down to the fact that I am jumping the gun. As long as I have all this emotional baggage the weight will not come off, no matter what I do.

The Gabriel Method – I Love My Body

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Every year (for the past 15) over the Memorial Day weekend, a large group of friends from college go camping (if you can really call it that) at Banks Lake in eastern Washington. This year we had the best weather ever, 80s and sunny and perfect every day. It has never been better.

The problem with this was that I knew it was coming. Karli is kinda weather obsessed so we were watching the weather starting like 2 weeks before hand. Now how could knowing we were going to have beautiful weather the whole weekend be bad? It meant I needed to buy a bathing suit.

The Gabriel Method – Divine Love

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

Over this last week I have been noticing some subtle, yet important, changes in the way I feel. Because the emotional and self perception issues are so huge for me, I have vowed not to weigh myself or even measure myself until October. I am letting go of numbered results and concentrating on how I feel and healing myself.

The Gabriel Method – I Love Salad

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

I love salad. I think one reason that this eating plan works so well for me is that I love salad. I eat at least one, if not two, large salads a day. I’m lucky that my husband loves salad too.

I have been experimenting with different toppings and styles of salad, but for most meals it is pretty much the same.

The Gabriel Method – End of Month 2

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:20 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

I picked up my Gabriel Method book this morning to reread some of the nutritional stuff as I have been concentrating on my mental health and identifying and eradicating my emotional blockage. I was looking through the monthly plans and nutritional information and realized that I am already doing everything in month 3, just naturally without thinking about it. How cool is that?

Big Salad – Gabriel Method Recipe

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:23:19 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

I think I mentioned in my I love Salad post that my husband and I have been really enjoying what we call the “Big Salad”. We have this for dinner once a week now and giggle about past Seinfeld episodes (did you catch the reference?).

I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days. This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.

Shrimp and Spinach Salad w/ Cider Vinaigrette – Recipe

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:39 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I have really been enjoying my new world of salads. Although most of the time I stick to the basics, I have found some really great more creative offerings as well. Nothing boring about this little number.

The Gabriel Method – The Strangest Things

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

This process never ceases to amaze me. The weirdest stuff is happening to me. I squarely chalk this up to the fact that I must have had some serious stuff built up in my system as well as a significant amount of emotional blockage.

The Gabriel Method – July Results – Photos

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:38 GMT. 6 comments. Top.

Well, nothing earth shattering here but I thought it might be time that I post some photos. This is really hard for me, putting myself out there for the world to look at, but what the hey — here we go.

My nuu-muu Fits!

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:38 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

So, the story goes, it was laundry day and 106 degrees out and I needed something to throw on so I could wash my very limited supply of clothing appropriate for such a heat wave. I look up and there it is, hanging in my closet, just where it has been since the day it arrived. What the hey? and I put it on…

Transformations

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:22:37 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

I know that I have mentioned this maybe even several times in the past, but I just can’t get over how powerful it is when the same information comes at me from several unrelated sources. This always confirms for me that I am on the right track. Lately this phenomena is happening everywhere I look and so gives me confidence that although I sometimes feel like I am dangling from a hook, struggling to find solid ground as life zooms past me, everything is happening as it should and it helps me to trust myself and allow myself to be present to the changes happening in my life.

Where The Hell Have Your Been?

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:21:23 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

After several people have left very nice comments, but are also wondering what has happened to me and why I haven’t written anything in a while, I decided it is time for an update.

I Finally Made the Mental Shift

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:21:23 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Extreme Fat Loss and The Diet Solution

Last modified on 2012-03-26 21:21:23 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

I believe that these two programs combined are a powerful match and will produce amazing results for me and you as well.

Here are both the Products for you to take a look at.

Extreme Fat Loss Diet

Joel is still offering $30 off during the pre-sale, but this will end in the next day or so.

The Diet Solution

This is an audio/video presentation so make sure you have your speakers on :)

Access the whole Gabriel Method Series of articles

A little over a week ago I started The Gabriel Method.   This is a new approach to weight loss, with his book being released around the new year.  

Jon Gabriel used to weigh over 400 lbs and he spent years of his life dieting and regaining the weight, spending thousands with Dr. Atkins and continually forcing himself to lose weight only to gain it back and even more.  He took it on as his mission to figure out why his body wanted to be fat.  

He attended Wharton School of Business, studying biochemistry as well while he was there.  He also studied at the VA hospital in Philadelphia.  He has researched and read hundreds of research reports, learning everything he could about biochemistry, neurobiology, psychology, nutrition, and much more.  He also studies meditation, neuro and psycho linguistics, field of consciousness research and even quantum physics.  Even more importantly he started studying  his own body.

What he found is quite remarkable and his own weight loss is just one example of it working.  He lost over 200 lbs in 2 1/2 years.  

I am not usually one to write about something personally unproven, especially when it comes to diet and health, but I really want to document this process so I don’t forget everything I’m learning.  

I am feeling really great and enjoying the new foods that I am trying.  I am generally in a better mood and sleeping really well.  This after only a week with just the smallest of diet changes. 

This is a really new program so there isn’t a lot of information about it our there.  I am very curious about the process and the outcomes and hope that sharing my experiences will be helpful to others exploring this approach.

It also includes incorporating a lot of new foods that I was generally unfamiliar with, so creating and sharing recipes will be fun. 

All of the posts related to my experiences will be gathered under the Article Series tab at the top of the page.

Buy the Book Now!

This has become the only stir fry we do at our house because we simply can’t get enough.  So Good!

I use steak for this, but it is equally good with pork and I am sure it would be tasty with chicken as well.  We just eat so much chicken that sometimes it is nice to have a little change.  This is one of the few meals we use beef for and so we savor it.   

Because the meat marinades for a bit, you can safely use an extra lean cut of beef such as sirloin or top round.  Top round is a very economical choice for this type of dish where you might want to save your splurge on sirloin or tenderloin for when you want just a good old fashioned steak.  mmmm.

Another great thing about this recipe is that all of the prep can be done in advance and stored in the fridge for several hours.  I typically do this on a night I go to yoga.  I have Karli put the rice in about a half an hour before I get home and then we can eat in less than ten minutes when I get home late.

Favorite Steak Stirfry

3 Servings

1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked
8 oz sirloin steak, sliced thin

Marinade
2 T Soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 t sesame oil
1 t sugar
1 t corn starch

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 T chili paste (such as Sriracha)
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
1 cup green onion, sliced

Cooking Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 T soy sauce
1 T peanut butter

In a medium bowl soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and corn starch.  Add the thinly sliced beef and stir.  Cover and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Combine chicken broth, soy sauce and peanut butter for cooking sauce in a small bowl and set aside.  Don’t worry about mixing it up as you are just going to dump it in the pan and it will be easier to mix in the hot pan.

When you are ready to cook, make sure all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go in the pan.  You will not have time to cut anything up once food goes in the pan.

Heat a Wok over medium high heat.  Add Beef mixture, garlic, ginger and chili sauce to pan and cook stiring occasionally until meat is just cooked through.  A couple of minutes tops.

Add the sugar snap peas and carrots and cook for another minute until peas are bright green.

Add the cooking sauce and cook until sauce is well combined and starts to thicken.

Serve immediately over rice.  Enjoy!

Nutritional Information – Grade: A

This is an original copywrited recipe by Karin Reece.

For more stirfry recipes, I recommend 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes

Ok, Ok.  I know.  Here is another one of those recipes that came out of the what’s in the pantry moment, but surprisingly it is really warm and comfy and the kids could not get enough of it, so I thought I would share.

I promise I cook more than these wacky on a whim recipes, but they seem fun to share and I’m not going to share all my best stuff, gotta come to dinner for the really good stuff.  Who knows, someday I may want to write a cookbook.

Ooey Gooey Mexi Casserole

6 servings

  • 2 c.  cooked brown rice
  • 2 T   light ranch dressing
  • 1/4 c   fat free sour cream
  • 1 can   fat free refried beans
  • 1 can  diced green chilies
  • 1/2 lb pork loin roast
  • 3 T   taco seasoning
  • 2/3   cup enchilada sauce
  • 3/4   cup cheddar cheese, shredded

While the rice is cooking, prepare taco meat.   See my taco seasoning recipe for guidance if you need it.

Spread the rice on the bottom of a baking dish.

Mix the ranch dressing and sour cream together and then spread over the rice.   It will be a very thin layer.

The Big Book of Casseroles

This recipe will repeat the spread this out over…  routine several times and sometimes it is easier said than done.  I find that if I spoon out small spoonfuls out across the pan and then squish down or spread as best I can that it works out just fine.  With this dish it simply just doesn’t make much difference how pretty it looks because it isn’t really going to hold its form very well out of the pan anyway.

Spread the refried beans over the rice and sour cream mix.

Sprinkle/spread the green chilies

Spread out the taco meat

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or so until heated through. It may bubble around the edges, but also may not, depending on what size of pan you use and how the sauce gets distributed.

Nutritional Information

If you have access to bulk seasonings anywhere near you, then there is no reason to buy packaged taco seasoning or really any packaged seasonings.  Bulk seasonings are so cheap.  It is even worth making a separate trip to a store that you don’t do your regular shopping at just to buy bulk seasonings if that is necessary. You will save a ton of money, I mean a ton.

Herbs and Spices

Anyway, I make my own taco seasoning as I go.  I just toss some spices into the pan with the meat, add a little water and let it stew, just like you would with taco seasoning you buy in a packet.   The best part?  Less salt, no weird chemicals and fresh spices provide more flavor.

Taco Seasoning

This is enough for a pound of meat and works well for any kind of meat you want to use – ground beef, chicken, pork etc.   This is a great way to use leftover meat, by the way.

2 T chili powder
1 T salt   – you can always use less and I recommend starting with less so that you get the right flavor for you.
1 T garlic powder
1 t cumin
1 t onion powder
couple of shakes of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper

Just put all of this in with your meat, add a little water (1/4 cup or so) and turn on, cook until cooked through, water is gone and spices are well incorporated. I tend to add a little more water later and stew for a little bit while I prep the rest of the meal, but this isn’t necessary. If your meat is raw, you may want to brown it first, but I really only do this with ground beef so I can pour off any excess fat.